We’d make a pact before Italy that we would try and live like the locals. This of course involes drinking too much wine and eating too much steak every single day of the week, but we wouldn’t let that bother us.
Antonio, the wonderfully kind owner of our B&B, offered us a trip to Chianti with his family. It seemed too good to be true and before we knew it we were graciously bundled in the back of his BMW and off for a day of fine Italian wine and it’s sister from another mr, the Florentine Steak. He’d told us a well guarded secret, that this is where we would find the best steak in Florence. Obviously we couldn’t say no to that.
We hit the road early in the afternoon bopping along to some old school euro-pop.
Through the rows and rows of vineyards and deep into the countryside, Badia a Passignano appears through the trees in all it’s medieval beauty. Located in the Chianti Classico region, it is a hotspot for the rich and famous.
The town looked castle-like from a far but as we pulled into the narrow roads that weaved through the small town, it was as much of a village as that of a Cornish one. Like eager (and thirsty) countrymen, we parked up and headed straight for our restaurant.
Of course, Antiono had reserved the top table at our beautiful restaurant, Ristorol’Antica Scuderia. With the clientele of mega-rich Russians and the America Dreamers, it oozed glamour from the moment we walked in. The views of the green vineyards were magnificent. Rolling Italian countryside and the most perfect glass of Prosecco on arrival. We were sold on the Italian life.
While we were jaw-dropping at the view (and the menu), Antionio had been ordering our food with the chef. The language barrier got the best of us and we waited in anticipation for round one.
And wow! Burrata (a traditional national cheese) and shavings of local truffles.
I’ll give you a minute…
Scott had the most amazing hand made al dente pasta I’d ever tasted.
And in preparation for our next course, a glass of one of the finest Chianti Classico’s money can buy.
We drank and chatted away over our wine, cheese and pasta.
And then it arrived. The most beautiful looking steak I’d ever seen. Juicy, pink, peppered and large, it was a steak made in meaty dreams.
Antonio had ordered truffles on eggs, apparently the finest way to enjoy truffles.
Almost everything we’d eaten had grown or been reared in this very region. The salad had been picked and prepared that morning, the cheese is made just down the road and the truffles were picked in the local oak forrest.
Apparently the phrase for orgasmically good food in Italian is “Diaaaaaaaaaaa”. Scott was taught the Italian way!
Finally we squeezed in some cheesecake and then got down to the dirty stuff.
Enough where that came from.
Inside, the restaurant was covered in fine wines. Antonio pointed out some of the most exquisite in their selection with one mega-rich placing an order for almost £5000 worth in front of us.
Sadly we had to leave our little green paradise, suitably full and just a little bit tipsy.
With the wind blowing in my hair, we meandered our way through the streets of Florence and just for a minute I was in the scene of The Italian Job.